A quiet day today, a reminder that it is the last working day of the week before the weekend.
The weekend is now two days where nothing much is different except that I don’t need to work. I spend less time in my back bedroom than the other days. Although I appreciate that at least I do have some differences in the days, as I am still working. For some, weekdays are little different from the weekends right now. When you can’t work and can’t leave the house, each day is much the same as the others.
The world this week.
A quick round-up of some of the things that you may not have heard about from the news
This week we discovered that the depths to which US President Trump will sink to know no bounds, as face mask shipments due to both France and Germany from China are intercepted by the USA and sent there instead. The fact that he makes European nations suffer because of his own ineffective preparations is outrageous. Don’t get me wrong, I am sympathetic to the plight of the American people, I have family over there and hope that they too get through this crisis unscathed, but they start on the back foot having a geriatric tango faced buffoon at the helm.
In Italy, their lockdown is taking its toll, especially in the poorer south of the country. The singing from the balconies has ceased as people start to feel the financial impact of the lack of work. Queues at food banks get every longer as time goes on.
Italy still had a high ‘black economy’, people who worked off the books to avoid tax. These people now don’t qualify for the government’s income replacement programs since technically they have no income to replace. And with such a long lockdown, they can’t work, and now can’t eat. Hunger based crime is on the increase, but there is fear that people could soon reach out to criminal organisations to help them now, in exchange for working for them in the future. The mafia will already be looking to cash in on the crisis. They invest in service companies such as cleaning, disinfection, food distributions & waste recycling, and they know that the country will be needing their services when they come out the other side. They will already be planning on how to cash in on this Pandemic, and they may have a new indebted workforce available to help them.
There is a lot of fake news around about how you can catch the virus, and this is leading people to react inappropriately. So today I fact check a couple of the examples for you
Some people believe that pets can be infected with and transmit the Covid-19 virus, and there are reports of animals being dumped or taken to shelters by concerned owners
Fact-check – The World Health Organisation has reported “at present there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as cats and dogs can be infected with the new coronavirus” This was followed up by the World Organisation for Animal Health who has said “Therefore there is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare”
Thankfully, there are also lots of people looking to adopt or foster pets currently due to being in isolation or alone during the crisis.
5G phone masts are being set on fire in the UK amid fears that there is a link between the rollout of 5G and the spread of the Coronavirus. The theory being pedalled across social and traditional media is that the virus started in Wuhan, a Chinese city that had recently rolled out 5G, and then spread to other highly populated cities where 5G was available.
These theories seem to neglect the fact that the virus spreads more quickly in densely populated areas anyway, and these areas are more likely to have 5G anyway. It also doesn’t take into account that Iran and Japan don’t yet have 5G, and yet the virus has spread there as well.
Fact-check 5G transmits mobile data via radio waves in the same way as previous generations of wireless network technology. Radio waves are also responsible for data transmitted for smart meters, tv, radio, radar, and GPS. 5G simply uses a higher frequency compared to other versions, but the frequency is still very low. The maximum levels of electromagnetic radiation measured by Ofcom were about 66 times lower than the safety limits set by international guidelines.
Prince Charles opened the new temporary Nightingale hospital in London’s Excel centre today via video link. Built in just 9 days, this 4000 bed capacity is now ready to take the expected influx of new cases in the London area that is due from now until mid April. Although, it might not be needed as quickly as expected, since London intensive care units that were expected to be overflowing by now, are still only 3/4 full. This is great news, and an indication that the social distancing measures have helped to buy our health service more time.
Additional Nightingale hospitals are also being prepared in Birmingham at the NEC, and the G-Mex centre in Manchester. Followed by Bristol and Harrogate. The Government have been following the trend of new cases, and ensuring that the capacity is increased in the right areas following the trends.
I’m no fan of our Government, and their previous health & social policies have meant that they have had much more work to do now in this emergency. But, cross party co-operation and a national coming together across both the population and industry, means that we have been able to pull out all the stops and hit this crisis hard. As with everything there are winners and losers, but there is an attempt to ensure that no areas of society are missed out in the help that is available. And where people do fall through the safety nets put in place, it seems that we have become very neighbourly and people are willing to help each other in order to see them through the crisis.